Questions & Answers
The following Questions and Answers have been provided by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE):
What is being done to support Southland in light of the closure of Tiwai Point smelter?
Central government, local government and iwi are currently working in partnership to plan the region’s response to the announced closure of the Tiwai Point smelter. The Government is committed to supporting Southland’s transition to a fair, productive and sustainable future.
What is the process for developing the just transition work programme?
The Just Transition Partnerships team has set up an interim project oversight group, made up of central government, local government and iwi, to govern this work. These partners will oversee a process of information gathering and consolidation to identify priority areas and fundable initiatives. A project team made up of staff from oversight group member organisations will deliver this work.
How will the process be governed long-term?
This initial group has been tasked with designing ongoing governance for the just transition process. This long-term group will include all of the initial partners, with additional members from a more diverse range of sectors and stakeholders, including industry, unions and the community sector.
What is the role of iwi in a just transition?
We are working closely with the Murihiku Regeneration Collective to develop our work programme in Southland. Iwi are a key partner in this work; their involvement will ensure Māori interests are appropriately recognised in transition plans.
What are these workshops?
These first workshops are an early input into our planning work in Southland. The information we gather at these workshops, along with existing strategies, such as SoRDS, and other stakeholder engagements, will help us identify just transition initiatives and actions.
Who has been invited to these workshops?
The Just Transition Partnerships team have tried to identify a range of smart doers from across central and local government, iwi, the community sector, industry, business and education. This group was developed with input from a number of local stakeholders.
Will there be other opportunities to input in this work?
The project team will continue work with regional stakeholders to develop and refine the just transition work programme once these workshops are complete. We are not currently planning any large-scale public consultation, based on the public engagement work done developing SoRDS.
When can the public expect to see the impact of the just transition work?
Our work in Southland is at an early stage. A priority of our upcoming work will be identifying where action can be taken now, and what initiatives will better set Southland up for the smelter’s closure. The community can expect to hear more about the outcome of this process in coming months.
Does this work replace SoRDS?
No. This process is not meant to replace a holistic regional development strategy. The Government is committed to working with the region to update Southland’s long-term strategy. This update will likely take too long for the identified initiatives to be delivered in time for the smelter’s announced closure date, but will build on and compliment the work the project team is undertaking.
What kind of initiatives will just transition spending support?
Currently, spending is focused on the planning process for Southland’s just transition. At a later stage spending will focus on delivering initiatives. These initiatives could include unlocking regional investment, furthering business-cases, supporting community initiatives or paying for local staff to support the ongoing transition process.